International Spotlight – Lecce

The town of Lecce in southern Italy, is located about an hour’s drive from one of our favourite resorts Borgo Egnazia. It is the perfect place to take in the region’s most magnificent baroque and Roman architecture. From dramatic churches to towering ruins and world class museums, Lecce is a definite must see for lovers of history and architecture.

Basilica_di_Santa_Croce_e_Celestini_Lecce

Basilica di Santa Croce e Celestini Lecce” by Wikimedia, licenced under CC BY-SA 3.0

Basilica di Santa Croce

A wondrous and astonishing example of baroque architecture, the Basilica di Santa Croce in Lecce is a feast for the eyes. Meticulously built over the course of two centuries, visitors will appreciate every minute and exquisite detail of the columns and facades of this historic church. Admission is free, and the church is open year round to the public, though with fairly narrow hours of operation.

Museo Archeologico Faggiano

Lovers of archaeology will enjoy visiting Lecce’s Museo Archeologico Faggiano. Inside the museum, you will find countless intriguing artefacts that bring Lecce’s history to life. The museum currently charges €3 per person for admission. Hours of operation are from 9:30 to 13:00 and 16:00 to 20:00.

MUST Museum

Housing contemporary and modern art, as well as highlighting the history of Lecce, the Museo Storico Citta di Lecce, or MUST, is Lecce’s premier museum. Entrance is free, and the museum is open six days a week (closed Monday) at 15:30, but has varying closing times.

Roman Amphitheatre

The magnificence of the Roman Amphitheatre in Lecce can only be fully appreciated in person. Though it has been partially buried under other monuments, the size and scope of this architectural wonder is a triumph of Roman architecture. It is located near the Colonna di Sant’Oronzo and, as it is out in the open, it is free to explore the Amphitheatre.

With so many fascinating sites to visit, one can quickly get lost in time when visiting Lecce. As well as the places listed above, Lecce is also home to the Castello Carlo V and the Cattedrale di Lecce, among countless other breath-taking structures, most of which charge no admission fee. Make Lecce a part of your southern Italian holiday.